KENG MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
I am a Queenslander by birth and have been a Loganite for over thirty years. I know Logan and I love Logan. Its where I run a business, raise kids and I am a leader in our community. I have been involved with Community Centres for more than ten years. As president of The Logan East Community and Neighbourhood Centre (2008 – 2016) and as Vice President of Loganlea Community Centre (2016 – 2017). I have now completed my second year as the President of Kingston East Neighbourhood Group. I am a leader with the Queensland Community Alliance and a founding participant in the Logan Community Group Alliance. Since 2017 I have chaired the Logan Asylum Support Group. Prior to working with Merv (KENG’s Immediate Past President) in the Community Centre Sector I knew Merv when I served as a Rotarian for ten years. I have been a business owner in Logan now for approx. 25 years and prior to this I was a senior manager in very large corporations. My love of community is because of my family upbringing and beliefs, I make a living from the community and strongly believe I should give back, and because there are people in need. My experience working within the business and community sector has allowed me to help the Committee, staff and volunteers to continue to achieve KENG’s Mission, Vision and Core Values.
I am a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), a current specialist member of the Self Managed Super Professionals Association of Australia (SSA) and sit on their National Professional Standards Committee. I am a passionate advocate for the increased and continuing professionalism in my Industry. In addition to my current professional roles I am the Treasurer for the Boutique Financial Planning Principals’ Group Inc (BFP) and for the Body Corporate of my office premises. I have successfully completed study at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. These courses have been diverse in both the Humanities and Business areas and I have been fortunate enough to receive various scholarships and awards/honours during the completion of these studies. I have authored or co-authored articles in the Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, the Australian Journal of Communication, Sport Med News and Australian Triathlete Magazine. Having only recently moved to the Logan area, my Wife, two Sons and I are enjoying the lifestyle on offer and I’m happy to have the opportunity to support the local community.
My first job was in 2003 with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) helping millions of Afghan refugees repatriating back to Afghanistan from neighbouring countries. In 2004, I joined the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)’s Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) program that successfully conducted the disarmament of 93,000 ex-army personnel and disbandment of local militia and reintegrating them into civilian life. In 2007, I decided to pursue my higher education and enrolled in bachelor’s degree in political sciences majoring in International Relations. I continued to work for U.S. Embassy and USAID from 2007 to 2010. I then joined the European Union Police mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL) in 2011. I am a member of the Afghan Young Leaders Forum as well as founding member of the Centre for Democracy and Development Studies.
I call myself a ‘pracademic’ or practitioner-academic. I have a background in Organisational Psychology and have focused much of my practice-research career exploring workplace bullying, facilitating change and supporting partnerships. I came to Logan in 2014 as part of my role in the CREATE project. Since then, I have forged strong relationships and connections throughout the community in Logan. I have always loved the sense of community in Logan and the affection and passion people have for this community. KENG is a brilliant example of what makes Logan such a great place to live and work. While I don’t live in Logan it is a privilege to work here in the community. Supporting KENG is one way I can give back to a community that has welcomed me so warmly.
Uncle Barry Watson is the Elder in Residence at Harris Fields State School and has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood for many years. For three years he ran the Nyeumba Jarjumms (“Teaching Children”) A&TSI Childcare Traineeship program, recruiting and mentoring workers annually which he placed in local childcare centres. He delivers the A&TSI module “Working with Indigenous Children and their Families” every year at training colleges and has developed many early childhood resources including his Walkabout Mat Game, an Indigenous version of Snakes and Ladders, and has produced several children’s books in the local Yugambeh language. Uncle Barry provides weekly cultural classes in local primary schools, teaches many traditional games and provides cultural awareness training to workers across government and non-government organisations. He is a respected Community Elder in Logan City and a member of many local action groups. Uncle Barry was formerly CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service in Brisbane for four years and is on the Mater Nurses Advisory Board and lectures nursing intakes on the A&TSI health module. He was also Manager of the Murri and Torres Strait Network, which provided early intervention and prevention programs. Uncle Barry ran the Gunnadoo Vacation Care Program and is President of the Indigenous Sports and Recreation Foundation, which provides grants to young A&TSI children to assist with costs for representative sports such as travel subsidies, registration fees and sporting gear. Barry worked for The Salvation Army Communities for Children program for thirteen years as the Elder in residence. He completed his Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management at age 64 as an encouragement to regional youth and enjoys mentoring others with the same passion for building a better community for our children. In 2015 he received the NAIDOC Award for Elder of the Year for SE Queensland. He was runner-up for Australian of the Year (QLD) in the Community section in 2015. In 2017 he was invited to be part of the judging panel for the QLD Reconciliation, NAIDOC and Australian of the Year Awards and continues his role each year as Ambassador for Australia Day having visited Julia Creek, Cunnamulla, Burketown, Birdsville, Cooktown and Barcaldine. He participates in many Restorative Youth Justice Conferences for the State Government and has been a QATSIC Elder for many years. Barry is currently Co-Chair of the Logan-Redlands RAP Committee for Carers Queensland and First Nations representative on the Advisory Board of Queensland African Community Council.
I came to Australia four years ago with my wife and two kids after working over 20 years in the Middle East. My volunteering works started in 2016 when I joined ISCQ as a fundraising Manager to develop, implement and review of the fundraising and marketing strategies. I also work as Administration Manager to support FZIS, a Saturday community school to be an inclusive and high-performance school that supports all children to reach their potential. I am a qualified Civil Engineer and have worked at an executive level in construction industry for the past 30 years. I have experience in the public and private sector, including senior management roles including Project Management, Marketing and Human resources. I have also been privileged to be a member of the Management Committee of the KENG in 2018 to support its wide-ranging services.
Elizabeth is the Program Director of Graduate Social Science and Supervision Studies in the School of Health and Human Sciences at Alphacrucis University College. Her role also includes lecturing and oversight of the student placements program. Elizabeth is passionate about seeing people thrive in their lives, including previously having worked in family support, transitional housing, and as a counsellor. She established and managed an 8-home transitional housing program for women and children learning domestic and family violence. Elizabeth is currently studying towards her PhD, researching coercive control in domestic and family violence. Her passion in this area has led her to author a book, speak and provide train on this topic. She is an active member of the Alphacrucis Human Ethics Research Committee.